A sign for Wall Street is seen just outside the New York Stock Exchange.(Photo: Timothy A. Clary, AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK (AP) - A record-breaking rally in stocks took a pause Monday as investors assessed whether the rise in stock valuations overstated the recent improvement in the economy.
The latest positive data, out Monday, showed that Americans increased spending at retailers last month. That suggests that consumers may boost economic growth in the current quarter ending June 30. Still, that wasn't enough to lift shares.
The Dow fell 26.81 points, or 0.2 percent, to 15,091.68. The S&P 500 index was little changed at 1,633.77. The Dow is up 15.2 percent this year, and the S&P 500 is 14.6 percent higher. The Nasdaq composite rose 2.21 points, 0.1 percent, to 3,438.79.
Retail sales increased 0.1 percent in April from March, according to the Commerce Department. That's an improvement from the 0.5 percent decline in March, which was the largest drop in nine months. Economists had forecast that sales declined by 0.3 percent.